Friday, August 25, 2006

Catch-22

The New Zealand Goverment continues on its farcical march towards becoming Milo Minderbinder's "M&M enterprises", in which "everyone has a share".

Kiwibank, Kiwisaver, Air New Zealand, Vector, Transpower et al. all are increasingly pointing towards this Governments absolute goal of the Kiwi collective ownership of everything via their benevolent and enterprising Government.

My own catch-22 now lies in how do I continue to help and support a country and people to whom I am increasingly drawn to despise?


39 comments:

backin15 said...

Kiwibank is Anderton's baby, AirNZ the government bought back because it had to, Transpower runs the national grid, who else do you think should own it?

So what are you left with - Kiwisaver - try coming to Australia, as you already know, super is compulsory.

Tilting at windmills I fear (I've no idea what bugs you about Vector).

iiq374 said...

backin15 -

re Australian Super as we have covered before you can choose your provider or self-manage if you have the time and inclination. Completely different to the situation just announced over here where the *only* super scheme to have tax benefits is the one which is Govt run (kiwisaver).

Vector / Transpower are not ownership issues per se so much as the recent "we will allow you to 'own' the assets as long as we control the pricing".

AirNZ the Govt *did not have to buy back*. This is an argument all by itself but it is made more interesting by the fact that they have so far managed to collapse two of their competitors since that "buyback".

I'm really unsure how Kiwibank being a particular politicians pet is relevant as a rebuttal? At first I thought you were agreeing with me...

burt said...

They had to buy back Air NZ... What planet do you live on backin15 ?

In Tonga the Kings desire to own an Airline (Air Tonga) sent the country so close to bankrupt it was a joke. This we need a national Airline crap is just that crap.

NZ needs Air NZ no more and no less than it needs NZ railways. The little minded Labour Govt just wanted to play like the big kids and own an Airline because they we suffering a 'little brother' syndrome with all the real economic powers of the world.

I'm sorry but as the 'We will prop up a failing business with your money' wasn't a election issue they had no right to do it at all.

As IIQ points out, the competition (honest real business owned by risk taking investors) have suffered because Auntie Helen couldn't keep her head held high if she had to fly Qantas ! The price of her pride is millions of tax payer dollars propping up a business that couldn't cut it against the big boys...

backin15 said...

IIQ, you're still confronted by the fact that the place you're most likely to move to has compulsory super, a proposition you apparently despise.

IIQ and Burt, my clear recollection of the AirNZ buy back was that it was effectively the only option left to the government as the cornerstone shareholder after the Ansett debacle. We can debate this all you want, it's pretty clearly set out on the, Air NZ site. At the point of Ansett's demise, I don't recall anyone suggesting many alternatives save for Singapore and there were plenty of sensible objections. I doubt very much Labour wants to own AirNZ, but neither does it want a firesale - witness the T3 disaster unfolding in Australia.

Burt, I'm pretty much ignoring the rest of your rant since it's just posturing.

IIQ, it is not at all clear what you don't like about Transpower, as for Vector, it is just a provider - change.

Kiwibank is an example of the vissicitudes of politics - Anderton is hell bent on a NZ owned bank and took advantage of the politics of the day to insist on one - you don't like it, tough; don't bank with it.

I gotta say, if you despise NZ; leave.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 -
(Warning starts ad hominem)
I sometimes wonder whether you actually read what I write.

IIQ, you're still confronted by the fact that the place you're most likely to move to has compulsory super, a proposition you apparently despise.
Actually I think the idea of compulsory super-annuation is a great one. What I continually take issue with on your portrayal is calling it a tax, which it is not under the Australian system.

iiq374 said...

With regards to Air New Zealand - that is the common line that is sold to the NZ public which neither the NZ Govt nor Air NZ are likely to change anytime soon.
However I suggest you read:
http://iiq374.blogspot.com/2006_05_21_iiq374_archive.html
The Ansett collapse did not then "require" a capital injection into Air NZ to "save" it. Air NZ was *not* going to founder in the short term despite what they managed to sell to the stockmarket.
And the only reason they pulled the stunt they did was because of the Governments refusal to allow their proposals with Singapore airlines to go ahead, or the earlier proposals with Qantas.

iiq374 said...

Kiwibank - correct and I don't.
Mainly because I bank with the NZ bank that allows you to do your banking through all the postshop network, has no fees on cheque accounts, returns over half its profits to the community etc.

iiq374 said...

Vector / Transpower -
I have no issue with the companies. I have an issue with the Government attempting to regulate the prices that they charge without even attempting to put in place a DORC related framework to assess the required returns.

iiq374 said...

I should pause for a second here and ask: Do you know who Milo Minderbinder is and what he represents? It would certianly give my post a chance of making sense to you if you did.

Australia is not the most likely place for me to move to, those would be Ireland, Lichtenstein and Genova

With regards to the final point - it is not the country I despise, and hence the problem.

backin15 said...

IIQ: I didn't characterise it as a tax, never have (though I have argued that compulsory super isn't too far from a tax from the perspective of a payer), I merely pointed out that your international options present you with the same quandry you have in NZ on super contributions. The quote from my earlier comment you extracted makes this clear. I think you're confusing two different discussions.

Please don't be offended if I prefer the explanations of Air NZ, the government and my memory of the events, which is pretty clear, over your alternative theory. Also, the "blocking of Singapore" wasn't an issue at the point when Ansett collapsed, that was a later issue and the government's decision is a legitimate policy position reflecting a genuine concern to maintain flows of inbound tourists (I think it probably had bipartisan support despite the protestations) - you'll note that this concern applies in most countries where they have strong tourism revenues (and aren't parked in amongst Europe).

Glad we've now excluded Vector/Transpower from the initial comment, it seemed odd - Transpower at least must surely remain in public ownership unless you propose establishing another national grid (which I'm sure you don't).

Genova's a stunning place, anywhere in Italy is in my opinion. Ireland I like but wouldn't want to live there and I don't know Lichtenstein.

I know Catch 22 IIQ.

Perhaps a cautionary approach to the use of the word "despise"? I've certainly not liked some governments in NZ and also in Australia, however what travel I have done confirms that NZ's political leadership is generally superior to most other nations even if its resource base and location present challenges.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 -
I merely pointed out that your international options present you with the same quandry you have in NZ on super contributions.
I'm not sure I understand how you fail to see how incorrect that is. It is difficult to find *any* other examples of countries to which I could/would move that have tax regimes favouring only the Government controlled fund.
Australia super, USA 401k's, etc do not fall into this same trap.

My AirNZ "theory" as you put it is primarily a statement of fact that you can check by just getting the (public) AirNZ financial records from the time. My recollections are also pretty clear as I was working for a stockbroker at the time that it occurred and so made a reasonable sum off the shares due to one of the astute advisors pointing out the obvious flaws in the public panic.

My comment about Transpower/Vector still stands completely in the original comment. I was alluding to the very recent and public price control events and statements made over here by the Government that ahve led to a subsequent capital freeze by Transpower. The way in which the Government is controlling supposed privately owned assets is one of the *most* M&M related references.

Glad I have the stamp of approval on my considered options :D

To clarify: I wasn't drawing any aspersions against your reading, but that the depth of the comment I was making was actually much more subtle than what one could appreciate if you only knew the colloqial catch-22 definition, rather than the literary work.

Unfortunatly the "despise" was very carefully chosen, and this context did not actually relate to the Government - it is the "people to whom I am increasingly drawn to despise"

backin15 said...

My comments about super were a reference to Australia - private or public, payments are compulsory. Private or public in NZ, well we've been down the road of a referedum on this issue - do you want to do that again, was 90+ per cent not clear enough?

The sequence of your points meant I wasn't thinking about European super schemes about which I know nothing.

Re Transpower, their mission is to guarantee security of supply, what actions are you alluding to because your initial statement seemed to suggest you had a problem with their ownership structure and now its the discharge of their role and the influence it has on line/energy companies.

Ahh, the unnamed stock broker who *really* knows what's going on - hmm, that pretty much makes it impossible to discuss the matter further I guess.

burt said...

Backin15

So only Air NZ can bring inbound tourists to NZ. I guess I (being simple) thought that the provider with the best prices/service/timetables would do that. Gee next time I go to France I must remember to fly Air France, no other carrier could get me there. - plonker !

Look if you think the Govt needed to buy Air NZ then good on you. But personally I would not use material from either the corrupt Govt or Air NZ as a justification.

iiq374 said...

There was a very interesting article from an interview with the CEO of the Ports of Auckland I was reading recently.

It referred to how countries used to have their national carrier - IE Shipping Line. You wouldn't even think about a nation placing its identity on a shipping line now. Airlines *are* moving the same way despite what some may think.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 -
Private or public in NZ, well we've been down the road of a referedum on this issue - do you want to do that again, was 90+ per cent not clear enough?
If you go back and find that referendum again as sponsered by Winnie you will see that what was voted down was exactly what we are now getting; compulsory Govt only Super in person nominated accounts.
Personally what we are getting is still better than what we had, but
the issue is the preferential tax treatment to only the Govt controlled fund. Please focus on the bold bit - read it again. It might stop us going round on circles on that one anymore in this thread.

The actions are those of the Government and Commerce Commission in price regulation with regards to Transpower and Vector; it is not Vector and Transpower themselves I have issue with (at this time ;-> )

Actually I wasn't using the advice provided to me at that time as a point of rebuttal - I was pointing out I also had fairly clear recollection for specific reasons.
Also to make your recollection better you might want to check:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDP/is_2000_March_20/ai_61543640
against the date of:
Ansett was placed into Voluntary Administration in September 2001.
(from your link of)
http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/aboutus/corporateprofile/companyhistory/default.htm

Like to revise the Singapore Airline proposal being a later issue?

iiq374 said...

Backin15 -
Sorry I almost forgot to ask about your comment IIQ and Burt, my clear recollection of the AirNZ buy back was that it was effectively the only option left to the government as the cornerstone shareholder after the Ansett debacle.

How was the New Zealand Government the "cornerstone shareholder"? The New Zealand Government owned 0% of AirNZ at that time - yeah big cornerstone. Perhaps you were confused with Brierley Investments? Or Qantas? Or SIA? Possibly even the old stakes of Japan Airlines or American Airlines?

backin15 said...

Burt, of course you can take many airlines to many destinations, but airlines fly the routes that maximise their profitability and the route to and from NZ is hardly a money spinner - hence the anxiety about becoming just a feeder airline to Singapore. I'm not suggesting it's correct, but to dismiss it or worse, fail to identify it as an issue, is naive.

IIQ: I'm well aware it was Winnie's baby, I was working in Parliament at the time, I referred to only because you appear to be arguing as if we've not considered many of the options you'd prefer and so far not agreed to the. That you now concede that the current arrangement is preferable to previous ones make your earliest comment seem even more immoderate.

I've not looked at your link, but will, but the fact that Ansett fell over in 01 doesn't negate my point - Singapore's been an option on and off for a number of years, preferred by some and not by others (usually those who imagine BA as a partner).

I agree with the general view that there'll be fewer airlines over time but I don't think it at all reasonable, or historically accurate, to characterise Labour's decision to increase its holdings in AirNZ as being based on a desire to be a long-term owner - it was a decision taken to secure AirNZ in the short-term.

You now seem to have a much more moderate and calm position on most of the issues you were initially well wound up about; still despising?

iiq374 said...

backin15 - your response to Burt indicates that you think the NZ Government should sponser the Trans Tasman route like public transport?

Preference for a concept does not preclude disliking an implementation. And the implications of Nationalism and Fascism provided by the examples given do not exactly re-assure me.

That I prefer to have a compulsory superannuation scheme does not make me happier that Cullen is giving us a scheme that favours the Government above all others. Just as although I like the concept of a NZ owned bank I am not prepared to condone the subsidization of one. (Especially when one already exists - but a seperate point).

Increase - interesting wording for taking a share from 0% to 80%. And the fact that the Government of the day had already blocked AirNZ's alternatives for capital injection is *highly* relevant and contradictory to your point.

No - I am still just as "wound up".
And still despise just as much. That the original post was deliberatly obtuse aiming for particular depth and meaning does not indicate that it was written quickly or offhand.

iiq374 said...

Singapore's was an option on and off for a number of years.
Now they've sold their stake they're unlikely to be back

backin15 said...

Nope, you should't attempt a crude association to make a point, I think it's clear I'm not inclined to argue on an issue I've not previously commented on. I could equally argue that you're being hypocritical to on the one hand want the government to force people to save for their super but then get all upset about restrictions on how they save - surely your for or against compulsion or, like more sensible people, you tolerate ambiguity?

RE cornerstone shareholder - you're right, AirNZ was fully privatised - government stepped in at the request of "the Board and the majority shareholders"; this still doesn't provide any evidence for your earlier position that somehow the government wants to own AirNZ in the long-term - it's this characterisation that I object to.

Re Singapore, yes they've now sold out and probably won't reconsider in the short-term; whether this is a good or a bad thing is very hard to know.

iiq374 said...

I am for increasing savings as a proxy for a countries ultimate wealth.
Compulsion is a means to an end in this - however whether compulsory or not the Govt should not use its powers to skew the table towards one particular scheme. Especially if it is its own. Again regardless of compulsion I prefer nominated accounts to slush funds as it reduces the chances of Government corruption and "stealing".

Given the amount of noise this Government has made in terms of deriding privatisation and the "asset stripping" in the past I find it amusing how you come to the conclusion they have any intentions of ever getting out? Either way it's 5 years on from purchase so far...

backin15 said...

You have a short memory IIQ, Labour was the government that began the privatisation agenda. This government is less economically liberal than the fourth Labour government but I remain certain that it would not have invested in AirNZ if it had felt able to avoid it.

It's clear then that you don't object to government acting to create incentives for markets or for individuals, neither do I, why then such a moralistic tone to your posts, why the references to Fascism etc - they seriously detract from your message.

You prefer private funds, sure, fair enough - I don't particularly object.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 - No, I remember well enough that the Government that began the privatisation was a Labour led Government.

However *this* Labour led Government over all of its terms (and the Labour party in at least one National term before that) has been deriding privatisation and the "asset stripping" in the past.

Ahh - but I do object depending on what and how the incentives are implemented.

It is worth clarifying around KiwiSaver that the thing to which I raised the objection is the specific tax benefit that has just been introduced post select comittee stage. I have a smaller objection to the household deposit "bonus" - but that one is irrelevant to the thread. Most of the rest of the scheme is fairly average in implementation and it is just a pity that our History teacher felt the need to try and design Finance structures again.

The key is the cumulative direction indicated by the actions of the Government - that is what brings about the warning and moralistic tone. However it is also worth revisiting the point that it is not the Government who I am drawn to despise as a result of these actions, but the general populace due to their reaction to those actions.

iiq374 said...

I remain certain that it would not have invested in AirNZ if it had felt able to avoid it.
It might be worth looking at what their agreement with AirNZ was:
http://www.treasury.govt.nz/release/airnz/anz-heads-4oct.pdf

In particular note the use of convertible preference shares to be turned into ordinary shares as at 2005 by means of extending $300m to AirNZ. The fact that they explored these types of options shows they made a considered descision to *take* control of AirNZ at that point.
Realising this was the point after they had vetoed 2 external re-capitalisation plans *that year*.

backin15 said...

IIQ: you're comments about Cullen are childish - he has a doctorate in economic history from Cambridge and 20 years experience in parliament, 9+ as a Minister - he's as qualified to be Minister of Finance as any.

Labour's policies on state assets is entirely orthodox, to characterise it otherwise is a misrepresentation. They've just significantly increased competition in telecoms for crissakes.

Your determination to represent Labour as some rogue nationalising force is increasingly pathological. Labour only invested in AirNZ because of the crisis bought about by Ansett's collapse. That Labour was anxious about increasing foreign ownership reflects the fact that this is a concern of the public, not just in NZ I might add. All political parties struggle with the balance on this issue, National included - ACT might take a different view but they mistakenly view government as just another corporation responsible only for maximising shareholder value.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 -
I'll cop to the comment being somewhat childish, however I'm also starting to get somewhat annoyed at the number of comments you have made in this thread stating as fact things that are not true or at best are misleading.

First the University of Edinburgh is somewhat different to Cambridge. A good Uni yes, but not the same. Also (a minor point) even they differentiate between their majors of economic history and "social and economic history".

Ahhh - but again look at *how* they have increased competition. It has been done not through the actual enablement of competition but through the effective nationalisation of Telecom's infrastructure network.

The best way of decreasing foreign ownership is by increasing domestic ownership. This is *not* best done through encouraging property investment, discouraging independent stock market investment, unilaterally wiping value off the largest stock in the local market, and continuing to show arrogance towards any private property rights.

My determination is also to point out that they are *not* just a rogue nationalising force but that they have discovered the joys of not actually needing to nationalise an asset to exercise control over it. Which is even worse. If my intention was to show Nationalisation in this post then I never would have brought up M&M.

iiq374 said...

Labour only invested in AirNZ because of the crisis bought about by Ansett's collapse.
That is your opinion and assumption - on both counts; Labours reason and the pre-emptive cause.

iiq374 said...

political parties struggle with the balance on this issueAgreed.

ACT might take a different view but they mistakenly view government as just another corporation responsible only for maximising shareholder value
Disagree. Replace ACT with "a capitalist or right wing party" and I would agree.

In my own view the primary reason they should not hold this interest is because the role of the Government is to act as a market facilitator: it is there to smooth market inefficiencies and to provide efficiencies for those services with micropayment issues.

backin15 said...

IIQ, Edinburgh/Cambridge, non issue; he's eminently qualified and experienced.

Regarding the rest, it seems you have a view about what Labour should do that they're not doing which is perfectly reasonable, however you start most of your comments with hopelessly broad and bold claims and then progressively narrow back to more moderate differences mainly, it would seem, to do with implementation. I don't mind the debate, but it'd be better if you started from less grandiose statements and instead simply stated how you'd do the local loop unbundling differently or why you'd prefer an alliance with Singapore airlines.

As to your comment about what the role of government is - facilitator not player. That's a pretty simple view, but few challenges come in simple packages, it's my experience that governments have to deal with very complex problems, with many stakeholders, and multiple agendas few of which are easily reconciled.

I currently work in IR/education; governments would like simple roles but are frequently forced out of their comfort zone, as a regulator, to solve market failures or even no market developing - any naive belief I had in the *simple* functioning of markets has been disabused.

iiq374 said...

Edinburgh/Cambridge, non issue
Non-issue in terms of the quality of the piece of paper, issue was in terms of your statement credibility.

Because my view of what they are doing wrong is at the fundamental and strategic level making strategic level statements and assumptions is what I will do from time to time.

I think the time for discussing "why you'd prefer an alliance with Singapore airlines" is probably past now :D However pointing out HC's interference in market functioning as a systemic issue this still stands as a pertinant example. I still find it reasonable to reiterate that it was HC and not the Commerce Commision that shot that one down...

Of course it isn't completely trivial - if anyone thought that then we would have shot all but a handful of the politicians and bureaucrats along time ago. However the philosophy that one takes into the framing of the question definately affects the available outcomes. And the HC led Government definition of "Governments role is what Government decides it to be" is not the right philosophy.

It also belies your assumption that
"governments would like simple roles" while providing another pointer towards the Nationalisation
posit.

backin15 said...

My credibility doesn't hinge on remembering where he studied IIQ, I worked with him for a while and know his capabilities.

Most of the rest of your post appears to be a rationale for making broad statements even when you subsequently resile from them.

Helen Clark and Labour do not randomly and unpredictably intervene in the market, though they are almost cetainly more active that centre right parties claim they'd be. Becuase you state it, doesn't make it so and their involvement in AirNZ is far from clear evidence in your favour.

I remember the last National led government well and it's tendency towards ideology despite evidence to the contrary - the break up of ECNZ was a classic and what a debacle it has turned out to be. That's not to say they did everything wrongly or badly, just that in some instances, and the ECA is another, they pursued policies because of their ideological appeal and they weren't terribly interested in addressing the inevitable shortcomings. Market rents - hell, that led to an overnight impoverishment of the most vulnerable of all NZers and we're still paying for it. Anyone who's worked in social policy knows the vital importance of good housing as a predictor of almost every other indicator of social (dis)advantage.

I think you're desire for an internally and externally consistent policy framework is laudable, just be prepared for politics to always be messy.

Back to your despising of NZers; I genuinely think you should leave the country if that's your view, I think you'll find every country suffers its disadvantages, all democracies are imperfect and every government compromises.

iiq374 said...

My credibility doesn't hinge on remembering where he studied IIQ
True - but it does when you state where he studied as fact. If you don't remember either look it up or admit it as fuzzy/irrelevant.
Just like stating the stopped Singapore Airlines deal as being later than the Government buyout/intervention, etc.
Occasional slips are to be expected but as the number of inaccuracies grows the strength of your points slip.

Helen Clark and Labour do not randomly and unpredictably intervene in the market, though they are almost cetainly more active that centre right parties claim they'd be.
Odd that you should say so - I thought that was part of my point.

ECNZ I agree totally in terms of being a totally bad idea - but because of misled ideals with regards to monopolies and being more active than they should have been. In fact much like Labours current involvement in monopoly / infrastructure markets.

ECA - again I would agree that it was a balls up, but mainly because they compromised on the ideal, not because they strove for it. That resulted in a mashup that served to screw things up for everybody, and either should never have been implemented or actually should have been implemented according to the ideal.

The Market rents discussion is probably best left til another time - its more likely to be a post in itself rather than a sideline to the discussion ;-D

I think you'll find every country suffers its disadvantages, all democracies are imperfect and every government compromises. I already realise that - if I didn't then I wouldn't still be here.

backin15 said...

IIQ, nice try - it's a little silly to repeat a tactic when it's not worked previously - it's not material to the issue at hand.

My argument with you is and continues to be your tendency to make bold claims about the hopelessness of this and the horror of that and then to progressively soften and modify your position to something more calm and reasonable. You seem to take refuge in detail, as if this will enure you against the points I'm making, it doesn't, even if it convinces you of your prejudices.

You may have said Labour intervenes more than centre right parties, I agree - that's generally the difference between the centre right and left.

Re ECNZ and ECA reforms; we agree on the ECNZ break up but not on the ECA; the ECA is clearly one of the most extreme pieces of industrial relations reform to be enacted in Commonwealth countries, Natinoal didn't wavver on ideology, it embraced it. What went wrong, from the point of view of its architects, was that the Courts filled the vaccum.

iiq374 said...

Backin15 - I think your continuing argument with me is actually that I make bold claims based on calm and reasonable positions.

I don't take refuge in detail so much as have the detail to back up my claims. You seem to dislike my provision of detail mainly because it is normally counter to your argument. You dislike descending into detail because then you actually have to get things right rather than rely on your idealogy based on your experience not facts to try and rebut with.

It was also my point that Labour's interaction was not random; which it would need to be to be a reaction to events (like Ansett collapsing) rather than calculated direction.

The main issue with Courts in New Zealand is that they tend to rely too much on creating their own law rather than actually following the laws that have been created. But I'd *really* like to park that one for another post as that is something that *really* p*sses me off but I haven't had the time to tone down the vitriole to an even half coherent post on that one ;D

backin15 said...

Not at all, I quite like discussions that occur both at the philosophical and detail level but I don't think any one detail can be sufficient basis for the bold claims you make.

You've effectively conceded that compulory savings is fine, but you'd prefer a private scheme, you don't bank with Kiwibank, your problem appears to be that the government has a role in energy and owns AirNZ (though I think you conceded their ownership of AirNZ did not reflect a decision to nationalise, rather a acceptance of the Board's and majority shareholders' request even if you'd have rather they'd gone to Singapore).

What's left as the basis for your despising the NZ population really - its hard not to see it as simply angry young man syndrome?

Re judicial activism, the ECA was some 20 pages long and didn't deal with a huge range of issues that arise daily in the nations workplaces. The Nats had 8 more years during which they could have legislated but didn't; I think you're wrong to decry the courts their role on this issue.

You know you don't have to run all the sterotypical conservative lines if you don't want to :>

backin15 said...

By the way, once you use words like Fascism, it's hard to then claim to be calm; hyperbole is the best indicator.

iiq374 said...

backin15 -
You've effectively conceded that compulory savings is fine, but you'd prefer a private scheme,
Please read previous post:
the issue is the preferential tax treatment to only the Govt controlled fund.

Kiwibank: Every facet of what JA wanted already existed, except it wasn't state owned. Perfect as one example of this Government using a nationalisation agenda.

"Role in energy". No issue with a role in energy. Issue is with treating private assets as state owned / controlled. As per initial post direction.

AirNZ: Issue with $800m subsidisation to single companies with consequent loss of competition.
Another example of unneeded Nationalisation. Not sure how you see that I was conceeding that point? Would be interested to know what I said that gave you the wrong impression on that.

Re judicial activism; this is alot larger than the ECA which is why I'd park that for a later discussion.

iiq374 said...

Fascism is only hyperbole if the intent is to have it interpreted as Nazi.

Nazi would be hyperbole, as would linking to Mussulini's Fascism.

Where the intent is to use it as a description of its own philosophy I don't see that as hyperbole. Your own conceptions of the word may lead you that conclusion however that is not a correct interpretation.

iiq374 said...

I should highlight that I generally write my posts for those with a reasonable level of intelligence, knowledge and decorum - which should enable me to refer to such words with their actual meaning rather than the "populist" meaning.

With the sample of commentators being yourself, burt and Cactus this wouldn't seem to be an overly onerous assumption.